Pilots! – Supergirl (CBS)

I thought I’d missed launch date for Supergirl, but CBS’s staggered rollout has worked in my favor, so the adoring readership gets treated to my thoughts. Lucky you!

Quick & Dirty: The show has potential, but it’s not off to a bang like The Flash was. It comes across as a very deliberate pilot, instead of flowing organically, and the long-term antagonist setup seems forced.

That being said, I’m willing to slot this one into the “Middling-with-potential” category.  Most of the criticism I’ve heard relating to this pilot seems to stem from the realities of a superhero pilot – too much exposition, too much premise establishment, and too much of Kara stomping around voicing views in inappropriate venues.  All could have been handled better, most definitely, but there’s a fair chance that it’ll settle down now that the basic premise has been established.

To be fair, this is a CW show (my mistake, it’s apparently actually on CBS, I think it would have been handled better if it *were* on CW. Sad to have to say that) so we’re not expecting an Emmy for script writing.  But as a casual viewer, I found that most of my concerns with regards to the general franchise were assuaged. I haven’t read any of the comics (I know, I know, bad geek), but I hated the way that the original movie just had her jump into Superman’s slot as a cheap way to extend the franchise.

In that regard, the TV series already promises to manage her role in a more independent manner.  It addresses the diminutive nature of the title, created a believable (for DC) premise for ongoing episodic adventures, and incorporated a direct tie-in to the Superman franchise in the form of a an older and wiser Jimmy Olson.  Could it have been handled more subtly? Of course.  But the real test will come when the first half-dozen episodes air – the characters will either gel and settle into their roles, or the show will die an ignoble death as the actors attempt to force cohesion out of material that lacks balance and substance.  While it makes a certain amount of sense to run with the primary conflict arc that they are, I find myself wondering if it isn’t telling that Smallville waited until one of its later seasons to take the same approach (and, for that matter, introduce Kara as a character).

As with all, time will tell.  If you’re a DC fan, or just someone interested in promoting female superhero leads, it’s worth giving it half a chance. If you’re on the fence, wait until mid-season and then binge it OnDemand/Hulu style if the chatter stays solid.  Except, since it’s CBS, you’ll probably have to wait until the season’s wrapped up to get online access unless you want to shell out for the CBS-only streaming service.  Bah Humbug.


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